Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 25: A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Sorry for the long intro below. It's a sort of history of the world since 1914. It's necessary because the news media never mentioned most of this.

For those who have netflix, there's a wonderful propaganda film of World War Two called Why We Fight (the battle of Russia).

In 1930s and even into the forties, Russians were evil, vicious people. Then Hitler invaded Russia. Thus this propaganda film from the U.S. showing Russians to be a gentle, smiling people, much given to charming folk dancing. They were 'folks', just like Americans.

That image lasted until the war ended. Then Russia was evil again.  Film and the news media are used to manipulate our thinking. and they're very good at if. So let's take a quick look at the reality of the last hundred years.

World War 1 broke out in 1914. Why?  The official line is that all those countries that went to war had no choice. When Archduke Ferdinand was killed, they all depended on railway schedules to mobilize their troops. So when one side mobilized the others had to follow.

Well, yeah. But they had been preparing for that war for decades. It could scarcely have been a war over railway schedules. And it wasn't. Germany had united some 50 years earlier. It quickly became a major industrial power. That made it an economic threat to the factory bosses of countries like France and Britain. If could even cut into the British Empire. That's what caused the war.
So why did it take the U.S. so long to got to war against the evil Germans? That's because the U.S. didn't care - until it saw the need to get in on the action to get some share of the wealth that Europeans were moving in on in places like the Middle East.

(Oh, I know. The U.S. said it went to war because a German submarine sank an American ship. It's true. It did. But countries need an excuse to get people to go to war. And no country tells its real reasons for going to war.)

1939 was 1914 all over again. It had nothing to do with Hitler's treatment of the Jews.  The rise of the Naziis, in fact, was watched with happiness by big businesses because a strong Germany would be a barrier against Russian 'communism'. Henry Ford was a big supporter of Hitler for that reason, and because Ford was a rabid anti-semite.

But, in the long run, Britain and France could not allow further German expansion. it threatened their own industries, and even their empires. Thus their declaration of war.

The U.S. happily sold weapons to Britain. It was good for profits. But, more important, if Britain and France fell, their empires would be wide open to American take-overs. So the U.S. stayed out of the war.

But it could not stay out of the Pacific war. For many decades, American companies had wanted control of the China market, the market that had made Britain so wealthy. That's why  they took over Hawaii as a naval base way out in the Pacific. I wasn't to defend the U.S., not way out in the ocean. It was to attack China when the time was ripe. The U.S., of course, was quite aware that Japanese business leaders had the same idea. That's why, in 1919, the U.S. began building a navy designed to fight Japan. It built aircraft carriers. It built ships with very long range for Pacific duties. It built a large number of fuelling and other supply ships.

Sure enough, the Japanese invaded China. The American empire felt China slipping away. That's why, in late July of 1942, the U.S. put an embargo on oil sales to Japan. The Japanese had to respond because they could not conquer China and  most of the rest of Asia without that oil. Their response was Pearl Harbour.

The American leadership had not expected that response. But there were those who were pleased because this was the excuse they needed for a war with Japan to be followed by an  American conquest of China. Accordingly, when, late in the war, the British returned to the Pacific, president Roosevelt told them not to liberate Hong Kong, the treasure pot that gave the British the enormous wealth of China. The U.S. empire was going to move in and take over that part of the British Empire.  (But Churchill ignored the order. The British, led by a Canadian ship, moved in to take Hong Kong.)

However, the U.S. was still determined to make China a part of the American empire. So it financed and equipped a Chinese dictator named Chiang Kai Shek, a murderous drug dealer on a huge scale, to defeat Mao's communist army, and to deliver China into the American empire. But Chiang lost. It was a loss that broke hearts all over Wall St. which had been waiting to loot China as the British had.

The U.S. also entered the European war at the end of 1942. But it was not to save Britain. It was to add much of the middle east and of Africa to the American empire. In fact, while the U.S. gave huge gifts to help Europe recover from the war, it gave almost nothing to Britain. American leaders joined the European war largely to cash in on the decline of the British Empire.

The British empire largely collapsed. And Britain, itself, became a handmaiden to fight American wars (as in Afghanistan and Iraq.)

Another reason American big business wanted to enter the war in Europe was to stop the expansion of Soviet Russia. It was Russia that did the greater part of the fighting against Germany. There was every danger it would occupy Europe as part of a Russian empire to compete with the American economy. And that would not please Wall St. because Wall St. in the U.S. leaped to the conclusion that this was the time to make the U.S. the leader of an empire of the whole world.

NATO immediately became, in effect, the European/Canadian section of the American Empire. The wars in Korea and Vietnam were fought because they would give the U.S. bases for an invasion of China. The U.S. is now attempting a similar arrangement with Ukraine and eastern Europe.

In the late 1990s, very far right wing Americans stepped up the wars for world conquest with their "Project for the New American Century". That is what led to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria.

In other words all the wars since 1914 were fought to make very wealthy capitlists into very very wealthy capitalists.

And the whole plan is in real trouble. Americans have had enough of war. That's why slightly over half of the American army is made up of mercenaries. (hired thugs, very expensive ones). And the favourite method of fighting is by saturation bombing which kills mostly civilians. But it's acceptable back  home because it's just the other side that gets killed.

Our great hope in 1945 was the creation of the United Nations to end wars. At best, it would have taken a good fifty years and more to get it working. But that's what our soldiers, sailors and airmen were told they had fought for in world war 2.
But the U.S. quest for world domination has seriously crippled the UN as it is helpless to stop the wave of American wars.  To top it off, the U.S. itself is a fading power, largely because of the very foolish policies it has followed, especially since 9/11. Trump is not the cause of the collapse of American democracy. No. He (and Clinton) are products of that collapse.

And it could well be  the collapse of the last western empire. And that would be tragic because the Chinas of this world are as badly governed as we are.
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Canada in recent years, though full of promises to native peoples, has done almost nothing to repair the damage it has done to them. (You'll note this story was not in my local paper, the irving press. Though the NY Times has been known to have large gaps in its coverage, it is still far the best of the American mainstream dailies.)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/23/world/americas/winnipegs-treaty-payments-meager-reminder-of-a-painful-history.html?module=WatchingPortal&region=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=10&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F07%2F23%2Fworld%2Famericas%2Fwinnipegs-treaty-payments-meager-reminder-of-a-painful-history.html&eventName=Watching-article-click
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/25/vatican-turns-off-historic-fountains-amid-rome-drought

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/mar/18/worst-mediterranean-drought-in-900-years-has-human-fingerprints-all-over-it

Yes. It's happening. And it means human suffering, millions more of refugees, and wars. It means serious reduction of food supply. And,  yes, it will effectively destroy much of Europe and Afria and the U.S. and Latin America.

But the New Brunswick government has things under control. It favours more pipelines and oil development. Makes sense. I mean, it creates jobs.

When do our governments plan to get serious about this?  When do we start to take this seriously? When do we take back control of our own countries?
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Capitalists create jobs and bring prosperity.. Like hell they do. Capitalists are blood-suckers That's the reaction of a leading British businessman as he expresses fears of American takeovers of British businesses. However, it's hard to feel sorry for British capitalists when they have been ripping off the world for several hundred years while doing nothing for their own people.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jul/22/uk-business-chief-warns-against-us-trade-deal
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It is probably better to get old in Cuba than in the U.S.

https://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2017/jul/18/social-work-cuba-fidel-castro-ageing-population
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Canadians are so nice.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2017/07/omar-khadr-forced-surf-wave-canadian-racism
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One of the greatest threats facing Canada is the power of Canadian and foreign companies to penalize Canada for protecting its environment. But we don't' see much about that in our news media.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2017/06/how-nafta-surrenders-canadian-energy-sovereignty-and-gives-us-control-over-our
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This one didn't make my local paper.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/25/walking-conflict-interest-fossil-fuel-industry-lobbyist-now-second-command-interior

What we are watching in the U.S. is the destruction of all that makes a functioning society possible. All that exists is greed and plunder. We're seeing increased destruction of the environment, medicine acting as a source of wealth rather than of healing, massive redistribution of wealth from almost all the population to a tiny number of very, very wealthy..... And the Democrats are not significantly different.

The politics of greed are destroying the U.S. - and Canada and most of the world.
You might want to read all of this issue of Common Dreams. And, no, the New Brunswick  Liberals and Conservatives are not going to be any help-.
And the NDP and the Greens are both going to have to get much more tough-minded than they are.

I'm not talking here simply about making improvements. I'm talking of survival.
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It's hard to tell when oil executives are evil or just made stupid by greed.

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/07/24/opinion/big-oil-committing-fraud-stay-business
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Israel's Netanyahu abuses Palestinians much as Germans abused Jews in the 1930s. It's understandable. Jews have passed through centuries of hatred - and they know the only reason the U.S. supports Israel is to use it help sustain an American position for control of the Middle East. They also know the west did nothing to help them in the 1930s and 40s. Israelis have become a hating and distrustful people - and we made them that way.

https://theintercept.com/2017/07/19/netanyahu-tells-european-leaders-concern-palestinian-rights-crazy/
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It's a secret, but only from us. The US has been arming, training and paying the Sytrian terrorists fighting against the Syrian government from the start. It is also arming and paying the ISIS fighters. That's been known for a long time - but our news media have ignored it.

http://www.informationclearingh
ouse.info/47507.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47508.htm
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The American wars in Afghanistan and the middle east which began in 2001 have been a series of disasters for the U.S. It has killed, certainly, over two million people. and it has gained nothing at all.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47512.htm
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In a democracy, whether we like or dislike another country, we have a right to criticize it But the U.S. government is closing in on that with a law imposing heavy fines on anyone who conforms to a UN proposal to cut off trade to land which israel has stolen from Palestine.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47499.htm
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Another war is on the horizon, the U.S. against Iran. Is Iran a threat to the U.S. No. It's a relatively small country. Who would benefit from such a war? ISIS would. ISIS gets its recruits and its money from all those Muslims who resent the American slaughters of Muslims. Without that, ISIS would pretty soon fade.
As well, the U.S. has a problem it does not seem to have recognized. It has only 4% - that's all - of the world's population. For all its air power, it almost certainly could not beat China or Russia in a conventional war - and they might well feel they would have to intervene if the U.S. invaded  Iran.. Such a war would become nuclear. And nobody would win it.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47500.htm
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Meanwhile, chaos in the Middle East continues as Israel, most recently, has bombed school buildings in Palestine that were designed to also serve as civilian bomb shelters. Israel knew that because it had inspected and approved them. But it bombed them anyway.

Whose bright idea was it to plant Israel in Palestine where , after all these years, war still threatens? If we wanted Jews to have a homeland, couldn's we give them part of a big country like Canada or the U.S.? After all, the Jews of Europe had little connection with the middle east. There were Jews in Palestine, But these were Jews who had lived there for several lthousand years, and who lived in peace and even friendship with their arab neighbours. Giving that land to European Jews to control was bound to result in the hatreds and brutality we see today.

There were two reason for creating  a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

1. ALL western Christian nations were Jew-haters. That includes Britain, Canada, and the U.S. None of them would accept  Jews. I commonly saw that anti-semitism every day in Montreal. It was especially strong among the wealthy. That's why Lord Balfour proposed a Jewish homeland back in 1917. It was not to help the Jews. It was to get rid of them.  (Hitler, though we like to forget it, had many friends and admirers in the west.)

2. As a secondary benefit, Balfour felt that Britain, if it created a separate Israel,  would provide an ally for Britain as it moved in on middle east oil. Britain was in no position to do all that that after World War 1. So the U.S. stepped in and did it after World War 2.

As a result, we have what should have been obvious, a constant trouble spot - and a spark constantly ready for a major war.
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Oh, something I've been thinking about. Whenever the The Canadian Legion goes public, it's always to take a self-righteous stand - as in the case of Omar Khadr. They should think more about what we owe to those who fought for Canada.

They did not fight to capture a 15 year old boy. They certainly did not fight so he could be tortured. They did not fight so that he could be jailed for years with no trial. Those who fought and died for Canada did not do it so that billionaires could destroy our environment. They did not do it so that billionaires could become increasingly rich at the expense of the rest of us.

This Nov. 11, let's get past the shallow sentimentality. Let's get serious about what we told them they were fighting for. Let''s really honour them.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent history summary. I was reading on another blog here that NATO was apparently formed of like-minded democracies but democracies for sure. Apparently Salazar's Portugal was a democracy, the whipped country of Greece was a democracy despite having been harshly put down at the end of WW2 by the Brits, who killed off the Communists, a local variety who wanted all those foreigners of any kind out of Greece, and the Italians, whose myriad parties' leaders had been bought off by the CIA, or worse met with strange lethal accidents in the middle 1940s.

    The UK's returning soldiers voted in Attlee and God Forbid, Martha! the Labour party, well-known Socialists, commies in disguise even!, who nationalized rail, the coal industry, the steel industry, brought in the National Health Service, built council housing like crazy and couldn't give a darn about what the US thought about it. Well, no surplus C-Rations as Marshall Plan Aid for you traitors, said the US! And no forgiving war debts.

    I was born in the UK in 1947, my parents brought me to Nova Scotia in 1959. They would always go on about the privations of life from war's end until 1948, no coal, food rationing as if it were war. Not that the ruling class, temporarily out of power, gave a damn, as they still had deep ties with the US. And who cared about the proletariat starving and cold? Serve 'em right. Chillblains, minor continuing frostbite, I had 'em as a kid, ears ruined, came to Canada where winters were far worse - no such thing because dwellings were actually heated and no other kid knew what I was talking about.

    The US made out like a bandit from WW2, and even spared a bit of "extra" for their masses for about 30 years, lionizing FDR. That way they could film the good life and flaunt it at the Soviets, dispense largesse to selected Europeans, and get those people on side for NATO, and a push to really get at the USSR with "like-minded" allies. By 1975, the largesse was over and that's why living standards have stagnated or lowered since. Get to work, union people are commies.

    The propaganda methods started by the Creel Committee to get doughboys into WW1 against the Kaiser were refined and perpetuated to give the impression to the rest of the credulous world that the US was paradise for those 30 years. Movies and TV. Rich middle class tourists swanning about Europe. At home, hit the patriotism gong, we must be strong against the dark forces of Communism, build our arm forces. Blah, blah, blah.

    Must have been a good vacation weekend. Great column!

    BM

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